China Glaze Oxidized Aqua Metal Crackle Glaze over Deborah Lippmann Lady Sings the Blues Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Metal Crackle Glazes
For summer, China Glaze has six new Crackle Glazes–this time in metallic finishes. The six shades include: Cracked Medallion (Bold bronze), Haute Metal (pale pink), Latticed Lilac (soft lavender), Oxidized Aqua (deep aquamarine blue), Platinum Pieces (shimmering silver), and Tarnished Gold (warm, honeyed hue). These will be available in late June/early July.
China Glaze recommends using a lighter coat of polish for a “fine crackle” while a thicker coat will give a “deep shatter effect.” I found the formula on these to be thicker rather than thinner, and it was far easier to do one thicker coat than doing a thin coat. I tried a few times, and the best part about the crackle trend is well, they’re not clean. Messy is totally okay. Normally, if you did a thin coat and it was a little wonky and uneven, you’d have issues, but with these, it won’t be noticeable once it crackles!
These will dry mostly matte, so you’ll want to use a shiny top coat (I used Nubar’s Diamont for all swatches, except Cracked Medallion). I prefer using a thicker top coat, too, just to give a smoother feel on the actual nail. I tried to use different finishes for the base colors, from cream to jelly to shimmer to glitter. It seemed like the Metal Crackle Glaze worked about the same across the finishes. It is best to wait until your base color has dried before applying the crackle coat, though, because it may pull at the base color and give it a sheerer look (I didn’t quite wait long enough before applying Latticed Lilac, for example).
Cracked Medallion is a burnished, copper-flecked gold. I wore it over Becca’s Tangerine Dream, which is a coral-orange.
Haute Metal is a mauve-tinted pink with silver and pink metallic shimmer. I wore it over Butter London’s Branwen’s Feather, which is a deep, dark plum purple.
Latticed Lilac is a silvered lilac splashed with violet and silver shimmer. I wore it over Deborah Lippmann’s I Know What Boys Like, which is a medium-dark indigo blue jelly.
Oxidized Aqua is a silver shimmered aquamarine. I wore it over Deborah Lippmann’s Lady Sings the Blues, which is an inky blackened blue with hexagonal glitter.
Platinum Pieces is a medium-dark silver with silver shimmer. I wore it over Butter London Thames, which is a medium-dark green-leaning teal with metallic shimmer.
Tarnished Gold is a medium-dark yellow gold. I wore it over Butter London’s British Racing Green, a rich, deep dark hunter green.
I’ve only been testing the wear for a day and half or so, as these just arrived. Based on my experience with China Glaze’s polishes, including their original Crackle Glaze polishes, I’m expecting normal wear (seven days with minor tip wear). If wear falls below that, I will revise the review to reflect that.
These are more forgiving than the cream Crackle Glazes and easier to use as well. I find that what makes or breaks the crackle look is the base color, because you can really have fun with the color combinations--and that's what makes a crackle look "cool" to me.
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As promised, Curacao! It’s so pretty, I couldn’t just slide it into the original post without some sort of fanfare! Stila describes Curacao as a sparkling violet blue. I found it more blue than violet, though. At best, you might argue indigo, but I think it’s more of a rich, navy blue with electric blue shimmer. It’s bright without being neon; dark without being black. Curacao has nice color pay off and glides on as easily as the other shades in the Sparkle Eyeliner family. It’s an impressive formula, and if shimmer in your eyeliner is your thing, you’ll probably enjoy Stila’s new liquid liner.
For a full review of the Sparkle Eyeliner formula, please check out this review.
Fresh Soy Face Cleanser ($15.00 for 1.7 oz. / $38.00 for 5.1 oz.) is recommended as a daily cleanser for all skin types as an “ultra-gentle face wash” that also contains “nourishing amino acids, rich soy proteins, and soothing botanicals to hydrate, calm, and tone.” According to Fresh, despite being a gentle cleanser, it “effectively removes every last trace [of makeup], even around the delicate eye area.”
It’s taken me months to flesh out this review, because I like this cleanser overall, but it’s hard to quantify why. (I usually jot down notes as I test products, then do some summary points at the end to later write a review with.) I wouldn’t say it’s the best cleanser I’ve ever tried yet I reach for it whenever I’m in-between cleansers. I think those who go heavier on the eye makeup will find it lacking in comparison to cleansing oils or dual-phase removers. I don’t find it breaks down longer-wearing products like eyeliner well enough to warrant skipping the eye makeup remover–good but not perfect.
As a general cleanser, I love it–it feels gentle and leaves my skin clean without being dry. It does do a good job of breaking down face makeup like foundation and tinted moisturizer, though. When I use my toner, it’s easy to see how effective the cleanser is, because there is really nothing left behind, except for around the hair line (which I don’t always get cleanser far enough up, just because I don’t want it in my hair, ha, so that’s more user error!). One of the best things about this cleanser is that it is incredibly gentle on the eyes; no burning, clouding, or stinging at all for me.
Fresh describes it as a creme gel formula. It’s a semi-opaque gel that squeezes out of the tube, and while it foams, it doesn’t foam as much as your typical gel cleanser would. It’s more like a cross between milkiness and full-on lather. I’ve heard some complain about the scent, but I really like it–it smells like fresh cucumbers to me with a little hint of soy. It comes in two sizes, and honestly, I wouldn’t bother buying the larger size (at least not initially), even though it is less expensive by the ounce. It’ll take you several months to work through the 1.7 oz., and it might be better to 1) see how long it takes to get through a tube and 2) be able to get a fresh tube more regularly than using the same one 3 or 4 times as long. I use about a pearl-sized drop of product each time.
Kiehl’s Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+ ($34.00 for 1.7 fl. oz. or $56.00 for 4.2 fl. oz.) is described as “oil-free, ultra-lightweight” while using a “patented photo-stabilized technology with long-lasting broad-spectrum protection” against both UVA and UVB rays. Kiehl’s recommends layering over your moisturizer for optimal protection. It contains Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (15%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (5%), and Oxybenzone (6%).
The consistency of this is most definitely fluid, and I recommended shaking well prior to use to ensure proper consistency, which is still thin and runny–much like milk but slightly thicker. The thinner consistency allows for easy application, as it spreads well and evenly across the face and doesn’t require five minutes of massaging it into skin to avoid any white casts or streaks, as some thicker and higher SPF products might.
I loved how non-greasy and quick-absorbing this sunscreen was. It doesn’t leave behind a heavy shine at all–mostly semi-matte to slightly natural in the dry down. It does smell somewhat like sunscreen when applied, but I found the scent faded within a few minutes and didn’t linger throughout the day. When I initially tried this last year, I thought it was breaking me out, so I immediately stopped using it, but I re-initiated testing a couple of weeks ago to great success (and no breakouts), so I’m relieved and pleased to have found a new sunscreen for summer–even if it is still rather gloomy here in June!
Renee Rouleau Elderberry Toner ($30.50 for 8 oz.) is a calming and hydrating toner that’s alcohol-free. Over the years, one of the musts in toner, for me, is to ensure it is alcohol-free, because toners that contain alcohol are often too drying and leave my skin feeling stripped rather than refreshed.
The Elderberry Toner is effective while being simple and straightforward. It removes any vestiges of makeup I might have missed during cleansing (particularly around the hair line), gives my skin a boost in moisture, and preps skin for my moisturizer. It never leaves my skin feeling dry or stripped, just clean, refreshed, and moistened. I’ve been using this at least once a day for the past couple of months, and I’ve used–at most–15% of the bottle. It’s actually cheaper and stretches further than one of my favorite toners–NARS Hydrating Lotion.